Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Madeline Finn does not like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice cream van. Fortunately, Madeline meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading aloud to Bonnie isn't so bad. When Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn't mind. As it turns out, it's fun to read when you're not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it's Okay to go slow, to keep trying, and to get support from a friend. A beautiful, reassuring, story for all those struggling to read. Perfect accompaniment for the 'reading dogs' programmes used by many schools and libraries. Money from the sales of the book will be donated to UK-based Pets As Therapy charity.
Reluctant reader Madeline really wants to earn a star at school, so when Mrs. Dimple, the librarian, suggests she read to a dog Madeline gives it a try.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Papp (My Mom's Wedding) bases this story of a reluctant reader around the real-life use of therapy dogs that serve as a quiet and nonjudgmental audience for those working on becoming more confident readers. Madeline Finn isn't afraid to let people know that she doesn't like to read-"Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice cream truck"-but she's also ready to start earning star stickers from her teacher, instead of heart-shaped "Keep Trying" stickers. Papp's sensitively drafted illustrations do an excellent job of capturing her heroine's emotions. Frustrated as she tries to read at home, Madeline stares glumly at the books spread out before her, her hands shoved into her reddened cheeks as her mother looks on worriedly; later, reading to a fluffy white dog named Bonnie at the library, Madeline's body language relaxes noticeably ("It's fun to read when you're not afraid of making mistakes"). It's a warm, encouraging story that suggests that perfection isn't necessary in order to achieve one's goals, and that help can be found in unexpected corners. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 2-Madeline Finn does not like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the local ice-cream truck. What she absolutely likes least, however, is reading aloud at school. Her teacher is encouraging ("Keep trying, Madeline"), but sometimes the other kids laugh when she makes a mistake. Worse, she never gets a star or a smiley face for her efforts, just a heart with the message "Keep Trying." On Saturday, she and her mom pay a visit to the library. Miss Dimple the librarian knows that Madeline doesn't like to read, but she has something special in store for her. "Madeline Finn, would you like to read to a dog?" Well, yes, Madeline says, rather tentatively. Bonnie is a big white dog who is known to be a good listener. Bonnie is very patient and doesn't giggle when Madeline gets the letters mixed up or when the words don't come out quite right. After that, it's a date every Saturday, and Madeline is learning from Bonnie to go slowly and keep trying. But one day Bonnie doesn't show up, and it's almost Madeline's turn to read out loud in school again. She's scared, but Mom reminds her to "just pretend you're reading to Bonnie." It's a little bumpy in class that day, but Madeline imagines that Bonnie is right next to her. She successfully finishes her page and gets her star. Papp's realistic drawings are created in pencil and watercolor and enhanced digitally. The drawings are soft edged and somewhat muted, and they complement the mood of the story well. VERDICT The book is best suited to medium-size or large collections but will definitely be welcome at libraries with Read to a Dog programs.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
I do NOT like to read! Madeline Finn states emphatically. The narrative follows her unfortunate experiences in the classroom, where, she says, sentences get stuck in my mouth like peanut butter, causing her much embarrassment when she is asked to read aloud. But Madeline is desperate to get one of the stars given to the good readers, and she faces her problem by taking a series of trips to the public library, where she reads aloud to Bonnie, a large white dog. Practicing with Bonnie teaches Madeline to be patient and gives her the confidence she needs to perform better when reading aloud in class; she's finally able to ignore her snickering classmates by pretending she is reading to the patient, nonjudgmental Bonnie. Softly colored scenes have an old-fashioned feel, and the especially appealing canine characters enhance the comforting tone of the narrative. In a surprise ending, Madeline finds herself reading to a whole brood of listeners.--Enos, Randall Copyright 2016 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Madeline struggles with reading and yearns to earn a star sticker from her teacher rather than a heart that says "Keep Trying." Persistence pays off in this heartwarming story when Madeline improves her skills while reading aloud to Bonnie, a dog involved in a canine library program. Realistic pencil and watercolor illustrations colored digitally chronicle the young girl's progress as she gains confidence. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.